Kosovo FM on moving embassy to Jerusalem: ‘We keep our promises’

Donika Gervalla-Schwarz says while decision faced scrutiny from European Union allies, Balkan country considers itself 'a reliable and a serious partner' to Israel

Kosovo decided to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem last year, becoming the first Muslim-majority state to do so.
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  • After its decision, the European Union warned Kosovo of moving its embassy, and Turkey tried to make it reverse the relocation.
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    Kosovo Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz
    Kosovo Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz
    Kosovo Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz
    (Photo: i24NEWS)
    In an interview with i24NEWS, Kosovo Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz said that the country had to explain its decision to its allies, particularly in the European Union.
    However, it did not impact the country’s final decision. “It was a promise and a commitment of the former government in Washington that we are going to open our embassy in Jerusalem. And we keep our promises because we are a reliable partner internationally," Gervalla-Schwarz said, adding that it is part of “foreign policy” to disagree.
    “You can never tell what will happen in the future, but I do not see any reasons [to move the embassy]. We will work from Jerusalem, and we will try to be very clear that while Kosovo is a small country it is a reliable and serious partner.”
    Gervalla-Schwarz was on her first visit to Jerusalem a year after Pristina opened its embassy in Israel's capital. She was in the Jewish state to sign a cooperation deal and bolster bilateral ties.
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    דגל ישראל ודגל קוסובו כינון יחסים דיפלומטיים אילוסטרציה
    דגל ישראל ודגל קוסובו כינון יחסים דיפלומטיים אילוסטרציה
    The flags of Kosovo and Israel
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    When asked about moving the embassy to be recognized by the Palestinian Authority, she said: “I do not see that, and I do not see the recognition as far as I can judge at this moment.”
    However, the Balkan country is interested in having a good relationship with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Kosovo’s top diplomat said.
    “It is not either nor. It is like telling partners that if you want a good relationship with Kosovo, you need to have a bad relationship with Serbia.”
    Additionally, she said that Kosovo could learn from Israel and its experience of integrating diasporic Jews into the country.
    “We have people linked to the country, those living in the diaspora, but we need to make our country interesting for our children's children. And that is why we need to learn from Israel's experience.”

    Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.
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